There's a fight brewing in the aftermath of General Motors' announcement that Holden, its Australian subsidiary, will soon cease building vehicles. With the end of production for dedicated Australian models coming in 2017, Holden will be limited to selling imported, rebadged models from other GM brands (likely Chevy), a conundrum that is evidently leaving some execs wondering if it wouldn't just make more sense to shelve the Australian marque altogether and replace it with Bowtie branding.
The story, from News Corp Australia, details the battle between executives from Holden and their counterparts in Detroit, with the former led by departing boss Mike Devereux. "Holden is one of the most valuable brands in Australia. We are committed to the brand for the long term. The brand is going to be a part of the fabric of this country for a very long time," he assured News Corp Australia. But there is the acknowledgment that keeping Holden around won't be easy: "There will now be the biggest fight ever to save the Holden brand from being shelved," NCA was told by a Holden employee. "Now that (Holden) won't be making cars and there won't be anything unique about the vehicles, the debate is going to come up again and it will be hard to win."
The unnamed employee might be right. As Holden, the brand is unable to take advantage of the marketing and ad dollars allocated to Chevy on a global basis. There's also concern from GM that shuttering production in Australia has caused irreparable damage to the Holden name. "There is no emotion in this. It will all come down to money. If General Motors thinks sales will go down because the Holden brand is on the nose, then they will switch it to Chevrolet," an insider told NCA.
What's your opinion on all this? Certainly, the financial aspect of replacing Holden with Chevy makes sense, but closing brands is a dicey business, particularly in the court of public opinion. Have your say in Comments – should Holden stay or go?